Join us on the pilgrimage of a lifetime. We will travel to Buddhist communities in the far eastern region of Kham and visit the epicenters of Buddhist life in Tibet, including the monasteries of Kandze, Dzogchen and Dege. Discover hidden monasteries, nunneries, and hermitages set against the spectacular backdrop of holy lakes, mountain ranges and the wildly beautiful terrain of the Tibetan plateau.
This unique pilgrimage is led by Tibetan monk and former Chenrezig teacher Geshe Jamyang and Venerable Kartson. They will both lead daily teachings and meditations, offering you the chance to reflect on all that you have discovered on this inspirational journey. The pilgrimage cost also includes a donation of $500, which will be used for building a retreat place for Geshe Jamyang in Dumra, Tibet.
|4-17, 18-31 July 2021|
|A$3,950 per person, twin share
A$750 per person, single supplement
|14 Days, 13 Nights|
|Chengdu – Leshan – Kangding – Garze – Dumra – Dzogchen Monastery – Dege – Garze – Kangding – Chengdu|
Geshe Jamyang was born in Dumra village in Eastern Tibet, where his parents still live. He left Tibet when he was 20 years old to study at Sera Jey Monastery where he attained the highest Geshe degree in 2001. He then worked as a teacher in a nunnery in Dharamshala before moving to Australia in 2006 and becoming the resident teacher at Chenrezig for the next 9 years. He moved back to Tibet 3 years ago to be close to his parents.
Venerable Kartson (Yaki Platt) was born in Tel Aviv and previously worked as software engineer for the Israeli Airforce. He moved to India and studied conversational and classical Tibetan for four years before coming to the Chenrezig Institute in Australia as the translator for Geshe Jamyang in 2005. He is now translating for Geshe Tsultrim and is a graduate of the Buddhist Studies Program. In 2014 he was ordained as a monk.
Arrive at Chengdu International Airport
Chengdu - Leshan
Later in the morning we will head to Leshan, home to the Giant Buddha statue of Maitreya in a sitting posture. During the one-hour journey you can enjoy the idyllic landscape of the Chengdu plains. When we arrive, we will take a scenic walk to explore the Maitreya statue and the temples surrounding it. In 1996 the Buddha Statue was included on the UNESCO list of World Heritage sites.
Leshan is also famous for authentic Sichuan-style dishes and we will get the chance to sample some of this exquisite cuisine in the old quarter of Leshan city.
Leshan – Kangding
Kangding – Garze Town
Overnight: Garze Town
Garze Town (elevation of 3500 meters)
Kandze Monastery (also known as Garze Monastery or Gompa) is an ancient monastery situated high above the town. The monastery is one of the largest in Kham and used to house over 1500 monks.
During our stay we will do the kora or pilgrimage circuit around the monastery – which is almost 8kms long. There is also the option of a shorter kora around the main temple.
Overnight: Garze Town
Overnight: Garze Town
Garze – Yilhun Lhatso Lake - Dzogchen Monastery
We will spend the next day exploring Dzogchen Monastery, one of the most significant monasteries of the Nyingma tradition. Dzogchen Monastery was founded by the first Dzogchen Rinpoche, Pema Rigdzin (1625-1697) in 1684. During its peak the monastery was home to five hundred monks, 13 retreat centres and an estimated two hundred and eighty branches. Dzogchen was also one of the most famous centres of sacred lama dancing and ritual ceremonies.
Hidden in a vast meadow called Pema Thang (the lotus plain), we will have the chance to visit Dza Patrul Rinpoche’s cave, where he composed his canonical text ‘The Words of My Perfect Teacher’. We will also take part in chanting, puja ceremonies and watch the monks debate in the courtyards. The day is ours to be immersed in this magnificent monastery, a tribute Tibetan Buddhism in all its glory.
Overnight: Dzogchen Monastery
Dzogchen Monastery – Dege
The main attraction of the monastery are the pairs of printers working together to ink and press more than 2500 prints each day at lightning speed. Aside from a brief interlude during China’s Cultural Revolution, these printers have been in operation continuously since the founding of the monastery in much the same atmosphere as they work in today.
The wood block engravings include scriptures from all of the Tibetan Buddhist orders, as well as Bön, a religion that predates Buddhism in Tibet. These ancient writings cover astronomy, geography, music, medicine and Buddhist classics, including two of the most important Tibetan sutras.
Dege – Garze Town
Overnight: Garze Town.
Garze – Kangding – Chengdu
Note: if the airport in Garze is fully operational we will fly from Garze to Chengdu.
In the evening we will share a farewell dinner.
Fully accompanied by Geshe Jamyang & Ven. Kartson13 nights’ accommodation with complimentary breakfast
Leave accompanied from Brisbane Airport or meet at Chengdu Airport
Domestic flight from either Kangding or Garze to Chengdu
Transportation by bus/cars between locations as per the itinerary, starting and ending in Chengdu
Entrance fees to all sights and monuments as per the itinerary
Welcome and farewell dinners in Chengdu
Local English/Tibetan speaking guide throughout tour
Mediations and teachings throughout pilgrimage
Donation of $500 to construct Dewachen Retreat Centre in Garze
Return international airfares
Lunch and dinner (unless otherwise specified)
Extra activities and transport not stipulated in the itinerary
Personal expenditure such as drinks (including bottled water), laundry service and souvenirs
Occasional optional items not identified in itinerary description
Camera and video entry charges at local sights and monuments
Compulsory travel insurance of any kind